Cover Image: Fire with Fire

Fire with Fire

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Member Reviews

Friends, I have been disenchanted with YA Fantasy for a while now. I say this only because Fire With Fire charmed me so much, that I am fully backing away from that point of view. To say that Destiny Soria has rekindled my love of dragon stories, is absolutely spot on to how I feel. This book has so much heart, so many beautiful friendships, and the kind of sisterly bond that I just love to read about. The fact that it also happens to have an amazing dragon-centered plot? Icing on the cake. This was such an enjoyable read.

Dani and Eden were such vividly written characters. Each burdened with a family legacy that that requires their all, but dealing with that burden is such different ways. I appreciated that Soria didn’t shy away from showing the cracks in the armor of both of these characters. Dani may look tough as nails on the outside, but she’s still a teenage girl who is struggling with normal life problems as well. Eden seems cold and calculated, but deep down she’s just as insecure as the rest of us. The fact that Eden also dealt with anxiety and panic attacks made me love her that much more. I always feel like characters are so much more realistic, and so much easier to connect to, when they aren’t “perfect”.

If you now worry that Fire With Fire ignores the side characters though, I can assure you that is not the case! Every character in this book is wonderfully detailed. They each have their own quirks, their own strengths, and their own flaws. It is not always easy for me to feel immersed in dialogue heavy books. They sometimes feel like they are unrealistic. Not this one. I devoured every page of their interactions. There were giggles, there were teary eyes, and there were definitely some sighs. I can promise you that this story is not only paced well, but every bit of it feels perfectly placed as well.

Have I done a good enough job of hyping this up yet? I hope so! I refuse to spoil any bit of this read for you. However I was serious earlier when I said that this rekindled my relationship with YA Fantasy. Any book that can handle both a dragon fantasy plot, and build such fantastic characters at the same time? That book has my heart. If Fire With Fire isn’t on your reading list, I highly suggest that you add it. If it is, start reading it ASAP! You won’t be disappointed.
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it took me a veeeeeery long time to finish this book (definitely not a read-in-one-sitting novel).
We have romance, dragons, and diversity - the dragons and the turnabout (anti to pro-dragon) had me salivating for this book.  
Unfortunately, the constant flipping of POVs made me want to scream.  We have two sisters and we are madeto follow them both closely.  I like to stick with one main hero in my stories, no division of loyalties, and it took too long a time to work out which sister was going to get my vote, which made it incredibly hard to devote my energy to the story.  
Also, the romance was minimal, and could have totally saved the book.
I would have given it fewer stars, had the writing itself been as poor as the plot and characterisation.
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My rating id low but keep in mind I did not finish the book.. I read over 100 pages before I decided to dnf it.

Unfortunately, this book did not intrigue me as much as I thought it would. I honestly do not think it has to do with the book itself but more with me, I probably outgrew my YA fantasy phase and I canno0t get attached to the characters. 

I still enjoyed the description of the dragons and the magic world. I liked having the point of view of both sisters as well and I really think that a lot people will enjoy this book!
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I loved that the book focused on sisterhood and their complex relationship. Ultimately, everything they did (even if the other couldn't see it) was out of love for her sister. I also loved the magical system - that the magic comes from the thing that they fear most and the politics around how to best protect the world from dragons. I was also not expecting the bi representation, so that was an excellent plus for me. Over-all I really found it to be an easy and fun read.
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Dani and Eden Rivera are part of a long line of dragon-slayers. Eden understands the full extent of their family's responsibility to the world and uses her free time to learn and perfect her training. Meanwhile, Dani just wants to be a regular high school girl without dragon-slaying training, but has to continue separating her "regular life" with her "dragon-slaying life." That is until one night Dani encounters Nox and finds that she is now bonded with a dragon. But Eden won't turn her back on her lineage and seeks the help of powerful sorcerers. What ensues is a battle between siblings that may just destroy the Rivera family.

What an action-packed book! Told from the perspectives of both sisters alternating chapters, this book was attention-grabbing (look at the cover!) and easy to fall into. I definitely got some How to Train Your Dragon vibes, but maybe rated PG-13 or R due to language and violence...This was a fantasy novel filled with BIPOC cast and high stakes. I really liked Nox as a character and the idea of humans bonding with dragons. I don't know much about dragons or sorcerers so all of the ideas and concepts were totally original to me. I wish there was more background on sorcerers and I really hope there's a part 2...
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Full of shadowy political intrigue, action packed fight scenes that include dragons and a detailed magic system; fans of YA High Fantasy are in for a treat! I found it a every enjoyable read, I found it very easy to read this in one sitting because I was just really hooked and wanted to know what was going to happen though I did find the pace was a little slow at times. the characters were really likable and I was really invested in what would happen to them, even the side characters. I really enjoyed the relationship between the two protagonists and seeing their growing trust and understanding was really great.
Full review to come on my YouTube channel.
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A good YA contemporary fantasy is hard to find, so look no further than this epic book. The relationship between Dani and Eden is complex, they are two very different characters that have their dreams, goals, and priorities as well as insecurities. While Dani is the hero we root for, Eden's complicated journey is the more interesting story. Her decisions lead her to becoming a sorcerer, which while technically making her one of the bad guys. just allows her the time and space to have her own battle with herself. Dani's battle is the more typical battling against nefarious people trying to do horrible things. Eden's fight is multi-layered and I love that the author didn't shy away from the intensity of her working through all the facets of her inner struggle. I thought this was an incredible standalone novel.
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This book took some time getting into, but once the action started up, it was a really fun read. Soria's writing is strong, emotional, and grounded. I enjoyed the two perspectives she's written in Dani and Eden. They are alike, yet so different and because Soria's writing is so strong they have clear, distinct voices. I also really enjoyed the lore and myth of dragons she has created in this book. It's a new take on dragons in modern society and I like the complication of sorcery that goes along with it. I also very much appreciate the Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer vibe to the whole "dragon slayer" family line and the struggle both sisters have with balancing they're "normal" life with it, each handling it in a different way. I think it's a solid book with a solid ending, and I wouldn't mind if there were more, but I also love a good stand-alone book.
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Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this book.

This is a pretty good YA novel with an interesting sister's relationship and dragons which gives it an original point, unfortunately, I think I started this book at a bad moment because I got stuck and the beginning and had problems going through it. The writing though was really good, I enjoyed the way the author goes through the story.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for honest feedback.

Fire with Fire is about two biracial sisters -- Dani and Eden -- who are part of a Mexican American dragon-hunting dynasty. 19-year-old Eden calls herself the first born but second best. She works hard, trains harder, and has completely foregone any sort of life outside of training to be a Dragon Slayer. 17-year-old Dani is a natural fighter and slayer, but is more interested in her summer job and spending time with friends. Despite the "family business", her parents don't force Dani to invest all her time in something she's not interested in, much to the consternation of Eden. 

The stakes become high when Dani finds herself attacked one night by a dragon. But isntead of becoming a crisp, they make physical contact and a soul bond is established. This means that not only is Dani intrisically linked to the destiny of the dragon, Nox, but it also means that they are in each other's heads. Nox and Dani share their thoughts, lives, and feelings with each other. This sets up Dani and Eden to be diametrically opposed to each other. 

When Eden is offered a deal to work with the mysterious sorcerers, she jumps on the opportunity. The sisters ultimately clash, and Soria does an incredible job of showing how their minds work, and how they've come to this moment of being on opposite sides of a brewing war. Soria knows how to tug at the heart strings of family, and how deeply the reader wants them to work together. She doesn't fall into the trap of having one sister clearly be 'more' morally correct and right. Both Eden and Dani are flawed narrators, who occasionally make stupid decisions as all of us did as teenagers.

The different relationships between characters are well done. As I said before, Eden and Dani, Dani and her friends, Eden and the sorcerers, and the entire hunting family. The relationship between Dani and the dragon Nox was often hilarious as well, a nice balance of humor and the seriousness of the situation. 

Eden is also clearly written as neurodivergent, which was refreshing. She had coping mechanisms but clearly still dealt with a lot of anxiety, especially around being 'second best' to Dani in skill despite training hard. The unreliable thoughts in her own brain affect decisions she makes, which I appreciated. Dani is also bisexual representation, which I thought was also handled well. It wasn't the focus of her arc, but it was explicitly stated instead of danced around.

Overall, the book was fast paced and had pretty good worldbuilding and lore around the dragons in particular. It is a great YA Action-Adventure, with lots of diversity while making it a natural part of the world and not hamfisted. It's very apparent that Soria is drawing from her own experiences, and creates something fantastical around it. Highly recommend this!
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I really enjoyed Fire With Fire by Destiny Soria! I love a good dragon story and this one delivered! It did take me a little time to get into this one, but then it took off and I was immersed and invested. I liked the sister dynamics between Dani and Eden, the mixture of love and rivalry. Dani's relationship with Nox was also lovely. The way magic is used and gained in this story felt somewhat fresh and interesting. I love stories where the MC has to readjust their worldview and this story did that well. I'd recommend this one if you love a good sibling story, contemporary fantasy, and bisexual rep!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the author and publishers for this ARC!

I definitely did not expect to enjoy this book so much! I was really attracted to the gorgeous cover and when I read the premise -- dragons, two sisters, an urban fantasy world? -- I was definitely intrigued.

The relationship between the two sisters is one that is really well developed and fleshed out, and I loved their POVs too. It was really well written and even if it's definitely aimed at teens I was so engrossed. And I mean, dragons are just so cool and the author puts such a clever twist on them.
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The writing is soooo good. I was caught up the moment I started reading. The humor is spot on. I smiled a lot while reading this. This is an author to watch for sure!
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Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria is a solid YA LGBT+ fantasy with intriguing characters and great representation. The core cast is easily the best part of this since everyone felt quite realistic. The main point where the novel fell a short of being great as a whole was on the world building. I never had quite the level of info I would have like to have been really sucked into the world the character inhabit. On the whole, the story has a great concept and while it's a good read, it never quite manages to live up to its true potential.
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Thank you to the author. Publisher, and Net Galley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  
I enjoyed this book so much! It was filled with family drama, friendship, action and adventure, and dragons! I loved the dragons in this story! I loved the characters. The chapters alternated between the 2 sisters and were short. I thought it was interesting about how the author handled  Eden's anxiety.  I think it is a fun read and that maybe there will be more books? I will purchase for our library.
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Dani Rivera just wants a normal summer - hanging out with her best friend Tomás, working part time, and going to parties with her classmates. But Dani's not normal - she and her family are dragon slayers, trained to track and kill the immortal creatures. Eden, Dani's older sister, is passionate about slaying and works overtime to be the best even though she's always upstaged by her impulsive and less diligent younger sister. When a powerful sorcerer offers Eden a chance to get stronger and end the threat of dragons forever, she doesn't hesitate. Yet, just as Eden is preparing to join forces with the sorcerers, Dani meets a dragon face to face and is irrevocably changed by the encounter. A powerful bond unites Dani to her dragon and she learns that everything she's been taught about dragons is wrong.

If you've ever longed for dragons to be real, ever struggled against family expectations, or ever wanted to chart your own destiny, this book is for you! There are so many things I loved about Fire with Fire: the rural setting in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the focus on sibling rivalry and bonds, the fierce capability of the protagonists, the world building, and, of course, the dragons. There's diverse and queer rep: Dani and Eden's dad is Scottish and their mom is Mexican-American, many of the supporting characters are Latinx, and Dani is openly bisexual. While much of the book focuses on the battle between dragons and slayers, there's also a good balance with fun moments and deep dives into the characters. I really liked Nox, the dragon! He's smart and sarcastic while also being vulnerable and a steadfast partner to Dani.

Although I found myself rooting for Dani and Nox, Eden is also a character that I could relate to. Eden is driven and feels a heavy weight of responsibility to protect humanity by hunting dragons; she has anxiety and sometimes experiences panic attacks. Dani has a fulfilling life outside of her family's dragon slaying traditions but Eden is self-isolated, pouring all of herself into training. I liked that I got both sisters' perspectives and could understand more about them and their rival viewpoints. Without spoilers, I will say I found the story's resolution to be very satisfying, though I would also love to read a sequel!
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I only got through a few pages before I gave up on Destiny Soria's first book. The writing in this one is definitely better, but ultimately this is not a very good book either. I didn't get invested in anything; there are a lot of cool ideas with bad execution.
Firstly, the premise and what actually happens. Dani and Eden are daughters of dragon slayers, but past the first 10% or so, dragon-slaying never has any real impact on the plot. The plot is instead mostly focused on sorcerers, who the book tries to convince the reader are not so bad at first but actually just flat bad guys who kill dragons. The book sets up Dani and Eden's perspectives as contrasts in regards to this--Dani fights for her dragon while Eden joins the sorcerers--but I didn't really feel it worked that well. There's no question that the sorcerers are bad once their backstory gets revealed, so I didn't really sympathize with Eden. There's also very few dragons, despite the dragon-themed cover and what the blurb says. Most of the first part of the book, in fact, is just mundane high school summer-y things with no dragons in sight. It takes 20% of the book for the first alive dragon to show up, and the part before that was agonizingly frustrating. At least the said dragon, Nox, is probably the best part of the whole book. He's quite sassy and kind of a jerk. but he's understandable and can be a source of humor when Dani references something modern to him that he doesn't understand (Kumbaya, Reddit, etc.). Besides him, there's a dragon important to the villain and one of the side characters named Zephyr, and then there's Polara, a dragon who is kind of important to Nox's backstory but is dead before the book starts, making for three named dragons total in the whole book. Nox is there for most of Dani's chapters once he shows up, but it's still disappointing. You don't even get much of Nox's backstory beyond the first half, which seems like a missed opportunity in hindsight. I don't understand why dragon books feel the need to throw wizards in with the dragons and focus on the wizards instead of the dragons.
Next, the characters didn't connect with me. Dani is the younger sister of two and is better at most things than her older sister Eden, who has an inferiority complex about this as well as anxiety and panic attacks. I found them both annoying at the start. Eden is at least understandable, with her qualms with Dani seeming justified, but past a certain plot point I lost all sympathy for her. Dani, for her part, does get better. The side characters were all pretty unremarkable, barring Nox and a sorcerer-aligned guy who shows up later named Kieran. Dani has some friends, but she can't talk about dragons with them anyway, so they don't do anything for the main plot for most of the book. 
Finally, while the writing is okay, it's still crippled by a few things. The main thing is the copious amounts of description--every time someone shows up their outfit has to get fully described, and the same goes for any new place Eden or Dani find in terms of what's there. It got really tiring after a while; they didn't add anything meaningful, so I started to skip them. The dialogue is generally fine, especially between Dani and Eden. There were a few moments I died inside with some of the made-up terms and the slang added. There's apparently a group of normal people who believe dragons in this universe who are called, of all things, Dragon Truthers. I hate it. It sounds incredibly fake, and it's not even that important to the plot, but it made me roil inside. The girls do get quite a few F bombs, though, which I did appreciate, since I feel like more books should realize young people do use the big swear words and not just "damn" and "hell" most of the time.
All in all, a disappointment. If it weren't for me feeling I had to see this through I would've dropped it a lot earlier.
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Dragon in the present time! Usually, dragon & medieval setting is like paper and salt - something that we typically came across in a fantasy book. But not in this book. It feels refreshing! It's quite diverse with several representations like Mexican, LGBTQ+, and people with anxiety.

Dani is such a strong main protagonist that will easily steal your attention. And her flaws just make her feels more real and relatable. I also love The Sisters and their relationship. Both of them are a complete opposite and the sister's rivalry is something that obvious between them. But how much they care and love each other is undeniable and lovely to witness. Also, I adore Thomas! He is such a friend that everybody needs. Love him from the moon to back!
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I've put off this review for a few days because when I think about how I can summarise my experience of reading it, I can't. Not when everything in this book makes me feel so alive, so grateful that I am here, able to read this book.

In my Twitter thread, I pointed out four things that might make you want to read this book:
🔥 Badass Latina sisters with a complex relationship
☄️ Ancient dragons and sorcerers
💔 Having your heart broken & stitched together again & again
🌙 An exploration of what makes us human

But it is so much more.

Yes, this book is set in a fascinating universe with a cute best friend group and a cuter love interest. But the best thing about it for me is that it's centered around love and empathy. No matter if you're family by blood or not, ancestral enemy or not, traitor or not - the characters try their best to understand their loved ones and stand by them, even when it could kill them. 

At the end of the day, FIRE WITH FIRE tells you what humanity is supposed to look like - and that is a place of kindness and unconditional love. A place where flaws don't have to be weaknesses meant to be erased, because that's what makes you who you are. I thank the author for reminding me of that.
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I really enjoyed Fire with Fire. The characters were enjoyable and the world was fully realized with enough understandable references that it felt fresh and new. I enjoyed the book for the most part until the author decided to draw inspiration form twilight with their young girl romanced by an emotionally distant immortal. Throughout the whole book I felt every relationship was handled fantastically until the main character made absolutely unreasonable decisions based on a character we just met. 

If the entire forced relationship was removed I would absolutely love the book but it's one trope I just can't get over. The writing was tight the characters made sense but the "twilight-esque" romance was just too much.
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